Habemus papam! We have a pope! This highly anticipated news swept the Vatican on March 13, 2013, when Jorge Bergogilo, former Cardinal of Buenos Aires, Argentina, was named Pope Francis. Members of CCM quickly heard about the selection of Pope Francis, receiving updates through television, live online streams, social media, and each other.
The evening of the election, the CCM community dedicated the weekly Wednesday Night Catholic Mass to Pope Francis, to celebrate his new leadership and pray for his time in the Vatican.
Amid all of the excitement, CCM students have noticed that Pope Francis brings a lot of "firsts" with him to the Vatican. "He's Jesuit," said first-year student Conor McKoy, "and coming from a Jesuit school I know that means he has a lot of experience serving people who need it."
Being Latin American, Pope Francis is the first Pope from outside of Europe in more than 1,000 years. Senior Jessica Simmermeyer said, "I am excited about the change, mainly because I think it is amazing that we are able to watch the Catholic Church make history."
For some students, Pope Francis' introductory speech caused them to realize his humble nature. "His humility is something that makes him stand out from different popes. Whether it is his robes, asking us to pray for him, or paying for his hotel room, it is refreshing to see a pope that acts no different or superior than any other Catholic," said sophomore Matt Zimpelman.
All of these "firsts" are appealing to the young people of the church, offering a breath of fresh air. "The youth are the future of the church, and being able to retain that membership will keep the Catholic Church strong," added first-year Matt Krause.
Elon Catholic Campus Ministry offers a warm welcome to Pope Francis. We pray that his ministry to the Church acts as a sign of God's love to people everywhere.
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